Beer Chilling – Mechanical Innovations

All work and no play makes anyone a dull boy, so at the end of a long day of designing, prototyping and testing new product ideas, the team at Design 1st occasionally sit back and crack a few beers. But our curiosity does not end with the work day, so when considering ways of chilling a beer, we look beyond the time-honored combination of refrigeration and patience. Here is what we’ve found…

Beer cans

Two mechanical engineers out of Gainesville, Florida have revolutionized the way to cool a beer can 20 times faster with their product SpinChill, pun intended. Simply by spinning the closed can at a high speed within an icy liquid, the beer within cools at a faster rate; but how does it work? As we all know, in a rotating fluid, the densest particles collect near the center by the Rankine vortex principle, which is exactly the principle used here. In this case the colder, denser particles of beer collect near the center, driving the warmer particles to the edge of the can where they make contact with the ice-water through the metal can. Because of the high thermal conductivity of metal, the heat from the warmest beer particles is quickly transferred to the icy-water.



But what if our beer should arrive in a bottle rather than a can?  The thermal conductivity of glass is much lower than that of metal, so the transfer of heat through the vessel’s walls would not be of much use.  For this, there is the Chillsner.

Submerge this sub-zero product to cool down your brew as you drink.   The aluminum rod is filled with a thermal gel and stored in the freezer before use, so cooling your brew from the inside-out becomes as easy as popping the cap and dropping the Chillsner.  The beer is allowed to escape its glass prison through a spout in the top of the rod, so that you can drink as its temperature sinks.


There are other products out there involving small, high-powered refrigerators; but the simple elegance of these two products encapsulates the design principles that make us salivate (or perhaps it’s the beer).


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